What if the child manipulates the parents? Psychologist tips


In the supermarket in the evening it was crowded, but it was impossible not to notice this kid in the crowd. Plump and pink, 5-6 years old, he lay in a beautiful jacket with an edge right on the dirty floor and with clean sleeves scooped up the generous spring slush brought by buyers on shoes. “I want to have! Buy-and-and-and! ”

His mom, embarrassed, looked around. Shame on you And then in one burst the designer in the box grabbed the shelf and threw it into the cart. The karapuz nodded in satisfaction, rose, instantly calmed down and, wiping dirty divorces from his jacket, flooded her to the checkout.

Such situations are repeated every day. In stores, kindergartens, in our apartments. Children skillfully manipulate adults. And parents did not immediately realize that they are being used for personal interests.

What it is?

Manipulations - the clash of authorities of parents and children. Who will win? You know, it’s disgusting to fight on the family front, and therefore parents often give up without a fight. What if a child manipulates adults?

Manipulation is an implicit, hidden tactic of influencing the psyche of others in order to achieve the desired. In one way or another do it all. At work in a team, in the cabin of public transport, in the subway, in the family. And Without exception, all methods of manipulating the “legs grow” from the practice of family manipulation, that is, from childhood. Experienced manipulators have reached impressive heights!

Parents often manipulate children: “Buy you a chocolate bar? Then take the toys away! ”,“ Do you love me? Then go with your grandmother to the country! ”...

Children learn the art of psychological influence practically from birth, but they also have excellent teachers - their own mom and dad. Even if parents try not to resort to manipulation, there are no guarantees that children will not “blackmail” their ancestors in different ways. Mastering this art, they, by and large, learn to be more successful. It is important to recognize the manipulation as quickly as possible and take action, otherwise negative consequences cannot be avoided.

How to recognize?

Often, the manipulation of children in relation to victims-parents are like a lack of love. Try not to confuse.

You are an absolute victim of a young manipulator if:

  1. You have no choice. The options offered by the manipulator are illusory, they are always on hand only to him. The victim always loses.
  2. If you are not sure if you are a good parent and do a lot of things by trial, often change the tactics of raising a child. Sly children (and they are all without exception) quickly "grasp" your timidity and impermanence and begin to play on the feeling of guilt.
  3. If a child repeats the same situation often, and it reproduces his mimicry, words, gestures in it. Remember, this is a manipulation!
  4. If parents increasingly have the feeling that they have been "driven into a corner."
  5. If every time from a small problem (for example, to wear tights in the morning, going to kindergarten), the kid arranges a whole performance. If the ritual is repeated every day, this means only one thing: the young manipulator tries to establish his control over his parents (example: the child does not want to go to bed, and every evening demands that he be brought to drink, the window is opened, the night light is turned on, then he is brought back to drink. so several times. Most often it is not thirst or need for fresh air.This is an attempt to delay the necessary sleep. Manipulation.

When do children start to manipulate?

This ability is formed at the age of 1.5 to 3 years. The little ones feel perfectly the emotional state of the parents, especially the mother, because the connection between her and the baby is long since the birth and even 9 months before it. Here on mom kids usually begin to hone skills of the manipulator. Dads are less affected.

Some psychologists have expressed the opinion that babies under 1.5 years old do not know how to manipulate. Another part of the claim that the crumbs are manipulated perfectly with the help of crying. According to personal observations, I can say that babies do not always cry from hunger, cold or pain. There are times when they scream just like that. They call mom because they are bored, they have a bad mood. And what is it like the very first manipulation?

Kids up to a year quickly recognize the "weak points" of parents and successfully use it.

Older children, who have already mastered the psychology of relationships and the simplest methods of influencing the parent psyche, pretend to be sick or roll on the floor in hysterical attacks in order to achieve what they want. Teenagers generally can openly blackmail.

Why do children do this?

  • They do not know how to cooperate on equal terms. Manipulation in this case replaces their partnership with adults.
  • They want to have a “magic wand” - always a working way that they will achieve everything they want.
  • They want to be more mature and meaningful.

What ways do children use?

  • Hysterics ("weapon" of a broad spectrum - from whining to seizure).
  • Feigned helplessness - "Mom will do everything herself, because she will certainly pity me." Children complain that they can not put on shoes, get dressed, that they are tired, they have a headache. Often this method is used when they do not want to go to kindergarten.
  • Supported militancy. This method selects a manipulator with character. He is trying to influence the surrounding fights, quarrels. Usually a calm child can suddenly become a real terrorist if he really wants to get what he wants.
  • Disease or its simulation. If the baby is well aware that mom and dad are ready to do everything for him when he is sick, then this can be used for personal purposes. He will show weakness, complain of headaches, voluntarily go to bed and even drink medicine, because after that the parents will surely allow him more than usual, will buy the cherished toy and sweets.
  • Flattery. This method is quite common. Before you ask for something, the baby will say compliments, hug, kiss your parents. But make no mistake, he went to flattery to get what he wanted.


If the manipulations are not stopped in childhood, to indulge them, to go on about, the child can grow up with the wrong, "unhealthy" attitudes for the future.

Manipulations will be so firmly embedded in the character of a person that it is difficult to predict what he will be ready to do in order to get what he wants, for example, in 30 or 40 years. The number of victims of the manipulator will grow with it.

Agree, with an experienced and cunning manipulator adults are very scary to deal with. Most people can recognize manipulators, they feel their sixth sense, intuitively, and try to avoid them. Therefore, It will be extremely difficult for matured psychological “terrorists” to build friendly relations, to get a family, to get used to work collectives.

If the manipulator since childhood managed to force people to "dance to their tune", and one day there would be a failure in the debugged mechanism of influence, this could turn into a real catastrophe for the manipulator itself - the collapse of life values, severe depression and even psychopathy. And this is a difficult and unpleasant diagnosis.

How to stop?

Now I will say a very unusual thing for loving parents - you need to forget about pity! Learn to distinguish between pity and mercy.

The first is a destructive feeling.It does not benefit either the pitying person or the one they regret. Mercy implies understanding, responsiveness, love and understanding of the causes of what is happening. We stop feeling sorry for the manipulator and gain strength and patience.

If you already know that you are being manipulated and were able to determine with our help what type of manipulator your child belongs to, time choose tactics of behavior with him:

  • Slow and helpless, Eternally looking at you with pitying, ingratiating eyes, you need to call for independence and set a tight timeframe for them. “Do it yourself. You can wear a shirt yourself. And you have 15 minutes to do it! ” Carefully use the counter-manipulation - "do not have time to get dressed, we will have to postpone the trip to the zoo." The main thing is your determination and inflexibility. Tears and plaintive eyes should not make your heart beat. The whole family should be taken for the crys so that none of the household members will change their decision at the last moment and will not meet the aching "blackmailer".
  • With children whose favorite tool for manipulation is hysteria, should keep the nordic calm. Calm And once again calm. It is difficult, no one argues, but only in this way the manipulator will be able to understand that the situation cannot be improved by tantrums, that this method does not work. But be careful - the guys who are prone to hysterics are usually very smart and labile, they can quickly change tactics to another.
  • Bully and bullies who manipulate with fights and quarrels, need to put in place. Show them that you are not afraid of them, and no one is afraid. The battle enthusiasm will begin to decline.
  • Imitating disease everything is pretty simple. The child began to complain, go to bed and hint, like Carlson, that “a jar of jam will surely save the sickest person in the world”? Immediately call a doctor or make an appointment to the clinic. Is always. After any complaint. Here your conscience will be clear: either deception and manipulations will be revealed, or a disease that actually exists can be treated at an early stage. Most of the children hate doctors and medicines. Therefore, the child will stop manipulating quite quickly.
  • The most dangerous manipulators are those that start to do this in a public place. It is harder for parents to keep calm and not to be led by. But this must be done. Firm and categorical "No!". And no more explanations and beliefs.
  • Emotional blackmailers - also not a simple category. Their favorite trick is to sigh: “No one here loves me. You do not need me, why did you give birth to me? ” They masterfully face parents foreheads. Especially if the spouse is divorced. If something is forbidden one, then the second in response to heavy sighs is likely to give in and allow. Agree with the husband (wife) on unity of intentions. To “no” one of the parents never become “yes” from the other. Especially if you are divorced.

Psychologist tips

  1. Encourage direct expression of your desires. If you cannot give what the child asks for, directly and firmly say your “no” and justify why the baby’s request cannot be fulfilled now.
  2. In the process of release from the actions of the manipulator, do not allow the child’s personality and character to be crippled. He is what he is. And in the root it can not be changed.
  3. The most cruel manipulator - a teenager. He can even threaten leaving the house. This can and should be endured.
  4. Try not to be manipulators yourself. Instead of: “Doing cleaning — buy ice cream”, you can say: “Let's do a cleaning, and then eat ice cream together?”.
  5. Do not compare children in the family. "Look, he behaves well, and why are you like that?"
  6. Let the child always feel that he is loved.
  7. Do not start the situation with manipulations stop it as soon as possible.
  8. Do not apply to the manipulator of physical punishment. This will not give the desired result, but will ruin the relationship completely.
  9. In the fight against manipulation of quarrels will be a lot. The main rule that you have to learn yourself and instill in your child is always to make up at bedtime!
  10. Teach your baby to respect and parental needs. - Mom is also a person, can get tired, need silence. And so the joint modeling is postponed to a later time.
  11. Parents are extremely difficult to deal with feelings of guilt. Remember that guilt feelings can also be manipulated by children.
  12. It is important for parents to stop being manipulators themselves, at least on the family front. The most common matrimonial tools to achieve something are silence, the sudden departure of “live with a friend or mother,” spree. Familiar? Then it's time to learn to trust and express your wishes openly.

At first, conflicts will be part of your life under the new rules. Then everything will work out. And you can build honest, open relationships with adults and children in your family.

Check out the following videos to help you understand the problem even better.

Information provided for reference purposes. Do not self-medicate. At the first symptoms of the disease, consult a doctor.